Rory McIlroy in action at the Dubai Desert Classic 2018 in Dubai. Photo:Mahmoud Khaled/BackpagePix

PARIS – Former world number ones Jason Day and Rory McIlroy returned to the top 10 in the rankings on Tuesday, after the Australian's victory at Torrey Pines and McIlroy's second-placed finish in Dubai.

The 30-year-old Day jumped up four places after edging out Alex Noren in a play-off at the Farmers Insurance Open on Monday, after darkness had brought an early halt the previous day, to claim his first title since the 2016 Players Championship.

Four-time major winner McIlroy slipped out of the top 10 last year after failing to win in a season for the first time since 2008, but he moved up three spots to eighth despite losing out in a thrilling back-nine battle with Chinese youngster Li Haotong at the Dubai Desert Classic.

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Li's victory at the weekend saw him become the first Chinese man to ever break the world's top 50, with a rise of 28 places to 32nd.

Spaniard Jon Rahm closed the gap on world number one Dustin Johnson, despite falling out of contention at Torrey Pines when a successful title defence would have seen him overhaul the American.

The current world top 20 is:

1. Dustin Johnson (USA)              
2. Jon Rahm (ESP)                    
3. Jordan Spieth (USA)                
4. Justin Thomas (USA)                
5. Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)             
6. Justin Rose (ENG)                  
7. Rickie Fowler (USA)               
8. Rory McIlroy (NIR)                 
9. Brooks Koepka (USA)               
10. Jason Day (AUS)                  
11. Sergio Garcia (ESP)              
12. Henrik Stenson (SWE)             
13. Tommy Fleetwood (ENG)   
14. Marc Leishman (AUS) 
15. Tyrrell Hatton (ENG)             
16. Alex Noren (SWE)                  
17. Paul Casey (ENG)                  
18. Pat Perez (USA)                  
19. Matt Kuchar (USA)                 
20. Brian Harman (USA)    

AFP